TORONTO, June 19, 2014 /CNW/ - Hundreds of friends and political and labour leaders from Canada and the U.S. will attend a memorial service Saturday celebrating the life of Lynn R. Williams, a giant of the North American trade union movement.
Williams, the first-ever Canadian to be elected International President of the United Steelworkers, died May 5 in Toronto at age 89.
Saturday's memorial service will be held at the Westin Bristol Place Toronto Airport Hotel, 950 Dixon Road, Toronto, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Dignitaries speaking at the service will include Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard; Stephen Lewis, chairman of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, former Leader of the Ontario NDP and former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations; Ed Broadbent, former Leader of Canada's NDP; AFL-CIO President emeritus Thomas Donahue; and Ken Georgetti, former President of the Canadian Labour Congress.
Steelworkers International Executive Board members from across North America, meeting this week in Toronto, also will attend the memorial service.
An Officer of the Order of Canada, Lynn Williams served as Steelworkers International President from 1983 to 1994. His vision and innovative leadership are credited with guiding the union through the labour movement's toughest times in post-war North America. He is remembered as one of the continent's most influential and respected labour leaders of the 20th century.
"Lynn Williams held this union together through the worst of times. Lynn showed that he was a leader of great compassion and ingenuity," said Gerard, the second Canadian elected to the Steelworkers' international presidency.
"Lynn Williams was a man of deep conviction and empathy who dedicated his career to improving the lives of working people," said Ken Neumann, Steelworkers National Director for Canada. "He never gave up the fight for justice and dignity."
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org